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Poster: xvgi Date: Jul 27, 2010 2:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: I've never understood....


...whether they went out for the 2nd set each night with a setlist or not. As one song reaches an end you may hear a cue or a riff that will suggest what song is coming next. And of course sometimes the expected song doesn’t materialise and they go into something unexpected. But would they go on stage knowing they would be doing Playin’/Wheel/Truckin’ (etc) but leaving flexible the matter of how and when one song would end and another begin? Or would they actually start a song with no idea of what would follow it?

Or maybe they might do one or the other, depending on the night....?

I used to listen thinking that they went out with no idea of what they were going to play and that everything evolved organically, but I guess this is just a romantic idea of mine – perhaps they knew what they were going to do but the ‘unknown’ part lay in not knowing when they were going to do it and how they were going to get from A to B.

It might seem an obvious question...maybe I haven’t been listenin’ hard enough.

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Poster: Street Pig ! Date: Jul 27, 2010 3:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

There were days, days between, the fabulous 60's were they had a limited amount of songs and played simialr tunes in different arrangements, 70's had an expolsion of new material, even thne you can see the list Bobby,Jerry, Bobby Jerry... 80's were the same, 90's oh well...As far as they having a preconceived list, yes at times they knew before hand that they would play certain songs and yes at times they even had soemwhat of a list. 78 was known as the carbon copy shows due to the predictability. The fellas kept an unorganized organization based on procrastination in many sorts. Yes they were spontaneous, yes they had preconceived ideas of where they were going, wow my answer got me confused, HMMM I think I'll listen to the music play 10-18-72 wiil sooth my soul

This post was modified by Street Pig ! on 2010-07-27 10:46:59

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Jul 27, 2010 7:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

It's my understanding that they virtually always discussed what the first few songs of the second set would be offstage. I believe they frequently came up with ideas for a medley on stage right before they played it (see the minute or so before the 5/21/77 estimated prophet for evidence of this) but sometimes even these last-minute plans were abandoned in favor of a better idea that was happening in the moment.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 27, 2010 8:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

From what I have read/heard over the years , that sounds right . The problem, was when those "change of plans", happened less and less .
I don't see them giving it lots of thought , just a rough framework . The freedom to sorta wing it , with a semi game plan , became a sort of limiting factor .
For instance , the "Jerry>Bob>Jerry>Bob" rule excluded all sorts of possibilities .
I remember reading an interview with Hornsby , when he describes Garcia quashing most ideas to shake it up a bit :"Why not open with 'Wharf Rat'","No, that's a 2nd set song", "Why not open set 2 with it", "No, thats a after drums song ".
One thing I like about the P+Fs etc. idea of preconceived set lists, is the variety it can bring , at the cost of on the spot flexibility .

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jul 27, 2010 9:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

If Bruce had had his way, they'd have opened and closed every show with Dark Star.

And I'm also reminded of this rehearsal from June 1993, just before the end of the tour, when they run through "Ain't That Peculiar" a couple of times for no particular reason.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1993-06-25.fm-monitor.koucky.91249.flac16

As they run through the harmonies, Jerry finally says, "We're not gonna _do_ this tune, are we?"

Vince: It's cool.

Jerry: Yeah, it would be especially cool if we worked it out.

Vince: Well.. we...we...we...did it once now. There's not much to it. That's it. That's the song.

Jerry: I don't know, it seems crazy to learn a song for the last two shows we're doing. Especially cuz, it's not that great of a song even if it were great.

Vince: But aren't we peculiarly kind of crazy people.

Jerry: Yeah, but it's cheap. You know, if you're gonna learn something, learn something fuckin' great.

This post was modified by snow_and_rain on 2010-07-27 16:21:52

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 27, 2010 10:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

The problem seemed that they didn't want to invest the time to learn something that was "fuckin' great" either . Or if they did, it often , in the case of some of the later covers, rarely seemed to be all that though out ( at least to me ) .
I am happy they brought back 'HC Sunshine' , but come on, let's go ! I realize it wasn't gonna be like 73, but it just cried to be taken out for a spin .
I suspect Bruce wanted them to be the band they no longer were . Sometimes those later 'Dark Stars' , sound like they are not really into it that much . But even where they were in the Bruce period , I think they could have been a LITTLE more adventurous . Sometimes, though, Hornsby's prodding produced some rather cool results !

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Jul 27, 2010 11:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

Jerry: Yeah, but it's cheap. You know, if you're gonna learn something, learn something fuckin' great.

Kinda funny coming from someone that broke out I Fought The Law as an encore every third night of 1993. LOL

I mean, IFTL would have been cool as a one off, but I wouldn't consider it "fucking great".

This post was modified by Finster Baby on 2010-07-27 18:44:08

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 27, 2010 11:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

In the right hands I Fought The Law absolutely is fucking great.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16u0wwCfoJ4

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jul 27, 2010 11:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

A-freakin-men!

I am of the belief that covering a tune and making it better than the original is very difficult for most bands especially when you are comparing apples and apples (e.g. studio versions vs. studio versions or possibly genres as you can make any song a reggae song and if you like reggae better than rock, the song will be better iyo) Check out the Marc Cohn album that Fennario80 is talking about as an example. There are exceptions and this is one of them. Hendrix take on Watchtower counts for me. Not sure the Dead did this so well in the studio. Their studio VLB is great but i can't say i like better than Cannon's Jug Stompers (happened to do this very comparison this morning!!). Obviously live they could or else we wouldn't all be here.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 27, 2010 1:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

I think it's just as well to remind ourselves now and then that, great band though they were, the Grateful Dead were never the be all and end all of the musical universe. I always liked listening to the Dead doing Samson and Delilah, for example, then I happened to here the Rev. Gary Davis play it and was quite frankly electrified by it. Made Bob seem like a complete tyro.

There was someone on the forum (can't recall who) who stated something along the lines of 'nobody can do a Grateful Dead song as well as the Grateful Dead and every cover song the Dead have ever done is the best possible version of that song' - one of the more preposterously cloth-eared pronouncements made here.

And yes, Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower is the gold standard of how to take a song and totally redefine it. It's an alchemical transformation.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 28, 2010 7:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

" .... cloth-eared pronouncements ... " I like that .

I could not agree with you more , re: Samson & Delilah , by Reverend Gary Davis . I can't think of how many mix cd's I put that on . I have lisened to it hundreds of times and it still blazes .
The Music Never Stopped is a good purchase . I usually listen a song at a time , but the selection moves around , and it gets a good amount of play throughout a year . I like that Buddy Holly NFA these days .

edit - I could not find the original Blind Willie Jonson , If I Had My Way , I would Tear This Old Building Down , but I found this ,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R8RuOagzck

This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-07-28 14:50:13

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 27, 2010 1:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

This is REDEFINING a song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAS4ltt7DzI

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 27, 2010 1:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

See your Thompson, raise you a Krauss. This oozes class from every note:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvKtxTsVoMo

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 27, 2010 2:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

I defer to Ms. Allison.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 27, 2010 10:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

The lovely and talented Ms. Krauss , BD .

rob , I'll raise you a Maybe ,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQwLJQxkphk

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 28, 2010 8:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

Now since you're not playing the cover version game anymore I'm not sure your Maybe (great song by the way, but if I had to nominate my favourite AKUS song I'd go for Happiness from So Long, So Wrong, their finest hour in my opinion - can't find a clip on YouTube though - ok enough digression I'm closing the brackets now- you still with me?) actually beats my Baby, Now... because I don't think anyone else ever did Maybe, but maybe (hah!) I'm wrong.

So anyway, just for fun, here's another great cover, Joan Osborne this time. It's not what you'd call a radical reinterpretation but it's absolutely majestic. Listening to this is about as close as a cynical old unbeliever like me comes to a religious experience. I feel exalted when I listen to this - hope you like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA0GcXV2njY


(Found your Blind Willie link elsewhere, for which many thanks.)

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 28, 2010 8:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

I was hoping you were not going to cru..., be upset with me on the Blind Willie vid .
I can literally watch an hour of let's say , Peking 1905 street footage , or vids like this Blind Willie from 1927 . Whenever I watch something pre - 1930 , I always think , everyone I'm watching is dead . That's not the utter fascination . It's that I feel like I am in a time machine .
What a beginning for poor Blind Willie , his step - mama gouging his eyes out at 7 .

rob, I have as yet to purchase / listen to So Long , So Wrong . That must be corrected . So , I have not heard Happiness , yet . I am in love w/ AK's voice .

I am influencing your writing by > 0.00001 % w/ the bracketing and parenthesis ? I know , don't get a big head .

That is a large band backing Joan up . Who is in the top hat ? She has a passionate , clean voice - little R&R , little blues , little gospel .

Here's a another one w/ JO and more folks you will recognize . This song by RZ has helped this not so old believer a few times .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In04PrXFMks&;feature=related

fyi - the vocals could be turned up a bit

I trust , and hope all is well in rob land .

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 28, 2010 9:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

I definitely urge you to get hold of So Long, So Wrong - if you like Alison you will flat out love that album, I totally guarantee it.

The band backing Joan Osborne on that clip are the Funk Brothers, the legendary Motown houseband. Sorry I can't tell you who the cat in the hat is.

If you're enjoying Joanie check out this clip of her singing with Phil and Friends. Imagine if she'd been with the Dead in the 70s rather than Donna... (that's the token Dead reference to drag this back to forum relevance)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIKdcq9gRno

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 28, 2010 10:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

No offense to Ms. Donna-Jean , but I would make that trade in a heartbeat .

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 28, 2010 9:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

Greatest one time cover from rag tag group?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoR6YQ1V8ks

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 28, 2010 9:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

I do like that, yes, but I prefer this:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ebzc_bob-dylan-my-back-pages_music

(Apologies for the advertising at the start but I couldn't find it on YouTube.)

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 28, 2010 9:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: (mis)understood master alchemist

I think it's in the running . I have watched many , many vids this week . That is in the top of all that I've watched . That FOTM w/ Baba is in its league .
GH son is spot on for dad in appearance .
That is the coolest I have ever seen Prince . Of course , the last time I paid attention was PRain , so maybe things have changed .

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Poster: roughyed Date: Jul 27, 2010 1:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

got to agree...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TOVkiBE2r4

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jul 27, 2010 12:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

An excellent point! And a much better song than Ain't that Peculiar, in my opinion.

I seem to recall some other rehearsal or interview or something where Jerry says something like, "I don't know why, but I've always loved that little tune."

EDIT: Wait, I found it! Start of Track 5

http://www.archive.org/details/gd93-03-31.soundcheck.kenk-tmnsp.31000.sbeok.flacf

Jerry: "I don't know why I love that dumb song so much... There's something really wonderful about it."

This post was modified by snow_and_rain on 2010-07-27 19:51:57

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Jul 27, 2010 8:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

My impression has always been that the setlists were probably hastily thrown together just before the start of the set, with the understanding that things could change on the fly during the show.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jul 27, 2010 6:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

they ALWAYS used a setlist!

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Jul 27, 2010 6:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

After the early days (when their repertoire was so small), I don't see how they could have gotten the diversity of songs on consecutive nights without using some kind of at least "loose setlist". It seems improbable that they would be trying to remember what they had played the night before, in order to avoid it, while they are currently onstage and playing. Just seems like they would have thought of it at some point before the show and probably knocked it around with each other, like, "Hey, what if we try to stick a MAMU somewhere in the middle of TOO? That might work, no?"

TOOTMO

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Poster: august_wst Date: Jul 27, 2010 8:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

I am not sure anyone who has seen them enough, or been close enough to the stage to see their back and forth communications could buy that they used a set list much.

I am sure they had a loose one, but I have been there too many times where you would see one of the boys start playing a riff and someone else (often Garcia) would shake their head "no" and it would go in some other direction. Of course had we left it up to Garcia we would have had 'Deal' at the end of every first set. The man was not known for for his love of expansive setlists. Ever wonder why we lost the following songs from setlists? St. Stephen, Lazy Lightning, Weather Report, Lost Sailor, The Eleven...

Besides it's a little hard to be one of the biggest improvisational bands and "always" use a setlist. Gnome sayin'?

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jul 27, 2010 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

rhetorical revisited

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Poster: ducats Date: Jul 27, 2010 9:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I've never understood....

its just Jerry always forgot it - along with the words to the tunes

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